sheepGalen Bontrager Farm
1840 500th St SW, Kalona, Iowa 52247
(319) 683-3199
Rating: 

Treatment of animals: A+
Price: A-
Ease of Communication: A-
Quality of meat: A+
Treatment of land: A+

Have you read “Omnivore’s Dilemma”? Heard of Joel Salatin and his amazing farm? Wish that you lived close enough to visit his farm? Well, you are in luck if you are within driving distance to Kalona, Iowa because one of the apprentices mentioned in “Omnivore’s Dilemma”, Galen Bontrager, has a farm that maintains Salatin’s farming principles. Sadly Galen doesn’t raise pigs, but he does offer grass fed beef, pastured chickens, pastured eggs, pastured turkeys and grass fed lamb.  I have found that his price for pastured chickens are very budget friendly compared to other farms who charge up to $4.90/lb.  His farm is easily accessible and Galen will answer all of your questions without making you feel like you are an inconvenience.  Our Thanksgiving turkey last year came from his farm and it felt so wonderful to feed my family a pastured turkey and it was cheaper per pound than the store price for an organic turkey that most likely wasn’t out on pasture like the ones from Galen’s farm.

Here is the information from his 2014 Newsletter.  To visit his website click here

Pastured Broilers $3.65/lb.
I raise Cornish-Cross broilers. The birds spend their first
few weeks in the brooder house and then out to pasture
for the remaining five weeks. They have a portable
shelter and roam within a portable netting fence, always
under the protection of the infamous beagle guard dog
Jasper – the cuddliest looking dog alive! Don’t let that
fool you though, predator losses under Jasper’s three
year tenure – 0! Dressed weights range from 4 ½ to 6
lb.s.

Pastured Turkeys $3.75/lb. deposit $5.00/bird

We hit these birds just right last year! I was very pleased
with the dressed weights so I will stick with raising
themup to 15 weeks. Similar to the broilers, these birds
start out in the brooder house and at 6 to 8 weeks head
outside to the portable netting and the watchful eye
(and nose) of Jasper. The only thing that could be better
here would be letting the turkeys roam all over the farm
during the day and have a guard dog trained to round
them up at night that would just sit under their roost
and guard them! Average dressed weights are from 12-
14 lb.s.

Pastured Eggs (available seasonally) Large: $5.00/dozen Medium: $3.25/dozen

As mentioned earlier, eggs will be available May through
October. Get that deep orange-yellow yolk color the way
eggs used to look and taste when hens were free to
roam and express their chicken-ness. I will have both large and medium sizes.

Stewing Hens $3.40/lb.  2.5-4lbs.

I’ve been getting increased demand for these the last
few years. People who appreciate the old-fashioned,
nourishing recipes are showing up like never before.
These are ideal for stock, broth, and chicken soup.

Salad Bar Beef

Whole $3.30/lb.    $250.00    400-700lbs.
Half $3.40/lb.    $150.00    200-350lbs.
Quarter $3.50/lb.    $100.00    85-180lbs. Plus processing fee

I had some great finish weights on these in spite of the
drought last year, and sold out in 2013, just like every
year before! I continue to rotate the cows to a new
paddock every day or two. This year I might be
experimenting with some other grazing techniques as
well. The bottom line, though, is cows eat grass, not
GMO feed, additives, and hormones.

Salad Bar Lamb

Whole $5.25/lb.    $50.00    35-60lbs.   
Half $5.35/lb.$25.00 15-30lbs. Plus processing fee

The lambs were same as beef last year, with sold out
capacity and demand for more! Not much new to add,
though, as the grazing scheme with the sheep just
works. The guard llama, Francis, that protects them just
works, too! I have to mention Francis and Jasper
because inevitably these two get more attention than
the production animals from farm visitors anyway so
why try to fight it?